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Daily Mitzvah, Day 16: Prohibitions for Communication with the Dead, Witchcraft and more

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Daily Mitzvah, Day 16: Prohibitions for Communication with the Dead, Witchcraft and more

Study the daily lesson of Sefer HaMitzvos for day 16 with Rabbi Mendel Kaplan, where he teaches the mitzvah in-depth with added insight and detail.
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Necromancy, Witchcraft; Sorcery; Black Magic, Tattoos, Peyot, Shaving, Sefer HaMitzvot

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4 Comments
Lee Margulies October 14, 2017

Negative Mitzvah 43 If sideburns is a negative Mitzvah in the Torah how does the Hassidic movement justify Payot? Reply

Anonymous January 27, 2016

An Idol Worshipper in ancient times, from what I know, were religions, many even not around today, where the statue itself was either a representation of, or the actual, god they had.

The biggest point was them believing and worshipping man made gods, be it that the god was that literal statue, or the statue was the home version, so to speak, in every house of that god, or that the statue was just a representation, of the god they made up.

The problem was they made up their own and worshipped them, and gave them, in their belief, all these supernatural powers.

Since there is only One G-d, this is the problem. But from what I know for Jewish people, praying before any physical 'thing' to represent G-d is not something we do. We bless on certain books sometimes but that's about as close (if you can even call it that) as it gets.

Please don't compare us to how Christians do things. They do have the same G-d but don't do what we do.

I'm Not a rabbi, so I hope I didn't miss anything, this is just what I remember learning from religious school when I was young. Reply

Claudia Chaudhry Amite, La. June 1, 2014

What exactly is idolatry. I thought I knew until I actually started thinking about it and now I'm not so sure, I have a few friends who are Wiccans. They keep certain statues around their house so one day I asked them if they worshipped idols. They were highly offended. A friend of theirs was there and he said: "Well, that's no different than a Christian who kneels before a Cross with Jesus on it and prays." I also have an aquaintance who is a Hindu (which you mentioned) and she also said the statue is just a representation of the god not the god itself. So what is an idol worshipper? I'm confused. Reply

Kat USA November 19, 2020
in response to Claudia Chaudhry:

Anyone who puts worshiping the creation before worshiping the creator is an idol worshiper. Because we as Jews worship the creator the creator has no representation in the material world of that which is indescribable infinite all knowing all seeing supernatural super rational all powerful. Because any human representation at all dwarfs the creator in relation.Did his friends also play with dolls? It’s one thing for a child to need some kind of representation of Hashem but as Jews we have to build an example that being a good person by doing mitzvah and not putting up with evil, cutting corners, excepting second best when it comes to spiritual matters, & learning that’s how we show loyalty to Hashem. Hashem is a jealous God he doesn’t want statues attempting to mimic the divine presence. Worship Hashem not trinkets, and by the way kneeling before a cross with Jesus on it is quite idolatrous in my humble opinion. Obviously or I wouldn’t be on this website. A statue cannot represent hshm Reply

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan studies the daily lesson in Maimonides' Sefer HaMitzvos according to the daily study cycle completing all 613 commandments in the course of just under a year.